Before I get too deep into soy pudding, I’d like to say a very Happy International Women’s Day! I could fill an entire post with thoughts on the women who inspire me. Young or old, from past or present, people I know well or have only admired from afar – thank you to all of you.
There are so many women who have worked to make my life easier, and I only hope I can do the same for others. Here’s an easy way to start! UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) has just released “One Woman,” a collaboration of female musicians from around the world. All proceeds from the song will go to supporting the initiatives of UN Women, and you can purchase it here. New music and a good cause? Win/win!
Now, onto a new place this woman really loved. Yesterday, I finally took readers up on their suggestions to try Excellent Tofu and Snack, a long, narrow little restaurant next door to Lido and Café de Waraku. It’s modest in its décor, and reminded me of an old diner, with chairs lined up against a long counter, and two-tops hugging the opposite wall.
The business appears to be family run, with an older man and woman working there yesterday. The man served me, and could not have been friendlier, explaining everything I ordered and checking in to see how I was enjoying my food. In addition to being friendly, he was also wearing suspenders, an article of clothing I find particularly charming for some reason.
Excellent Tofu and Snack specialize in house-made soy milk and soy puddings. One side of the menu has savoury snacks,
while the other lists just some of the hot or cold combinations you can pick from, as well as their cold, flavoured soy puddings with flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, papaya, honeydew, mango, and watermelon.
Behind the counter, they have large fridges with a constantly rotating supply of soy milk and tubs of soy pudding. Though I was the only one dining in at the time, a number of people came in to pick up these products to go, and the shop seems to have a steady and loyal clientele. Also, I should point out this is a wonderland for vegans!
While many head to Excellent Tofu and Snack for late night bowls of dessert, I arrived around 5pm, and therefore had a bit of a strange dinner. I asked for the regular sticky rice roll (they also have vegetarian and sweet versions), and two bowls of the soy pudding – the cold honeydew, and hot soy pudding with red beans and coconut milk. My bill came to $12.50.
The sticky rice roll was just what I wanted for a little savoury kick. It was simple – just rice, a Chinese donut, and rousong – but it was very satisfying, and good to have in my belly before consuming two bowls of tofu. Also, I am this close to buying myself a large bag of rousong to have at home. I love the stuff.
The hot soy pudding with red beans and coconut was faintly sweet, with plain, soft, silky tofu. Two kinds of syrups are provided at the tables should you wish to make your dessert sweeter; one is plain, and the other is ginger, which I preferred.
They’re a nice option to have, because it means everyone can customize their own bowl – those without sweet tooths (poor souls) can keep their sugar levels to a minimum.
I ate about half the bowl without anything added, then tried some of the ginger syrup, which provided not only added sweetness, but also a wonderfully strong ginger flavour.
My favourite of the two puddings was the honeydew tofu, which came in a little tub and could be easily picked up for takeout. It was cold, smooth, delicate, and utterly refreshing – just the type of snack I’d want on a hot summer’s day. It’s also a heck of a lot healthier than ice cream, a good note for anyone interested in finding a sweet treat that’s not a calorie-laden DQ Blizzard. Not that I plan on giving up Blizzards anytime soon.
I think Excellent Tofu and Snack is aptly-named, and a fine little place to gather late-night with friends – girlfriends, specifically! In tribute to mine, the women in my family, and all those of the world who support each other and their communities, here’s a preview of the One Woman song – inspiring, and excellent!
Vegetarian and VEGAN options available